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Nissan and NASA to extend autonomous driving development

Date: 12 January 2018   |   Author: Sean Keywood

Nissan has announced an updated research agreement with NASA to prepare an autonomous vehicle management system for public use.

The car firm says the tie-up will see it collaborate with the NASA Ames Research Center in California on research and technology development.

An update to an existing research collaboration, the deal sets out a way forward into 2019.

Previously, collaboration between Nissan and NASA produced the Nissan Seamless Autonomous Mobility (SAM) platform for managing fleets of autonomous vehicles, revealed last year.

The new deal will see SAM developed and tested ahead of public implementation.

Maarten Sierhuis, director of Nissan's research centre in Silicon Valley, said: "We built SAM from technology NASA developed for managing interplanetary rovers as they move around unpredictable landscapes.

"Our goal is to deploy SAM to help third-party organisations safely integrate a fleet of autonomous vehicles in unpredictable urban environments, for example ride-hailing services, public transportation, or logistics and delivery services.

"The final stage of our existing research agreement with NASA will bring us closer to that goal and test SAM in a working demonstration on public streets."

Eugene Tu, NASA's centre director at Ames, said: "One of NASA's strategic goals is to transfer the technology developed to advance NASA mission and programme objectives to broader commercial and social applications.

"Using NASA's work in robotics to accelerate the deployment of autonomous mobility services is a perfect example of how the considerable work required to advance space exploration can also pioneer advances here on Earth."